Solar System – planets

układ słoneczny planety solar system planets


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The solar system is a planetary system in which the Sun occupies a central place, a large gas ball around which revolves around it, related celestial bodies: planets, moons of planets, dwarf planets and asteroids, comets, meteoroids and interplanetary dust. The solar system is relatively small, considering the distance to other stars. To the farthest planet in the solar system, sunlight runs from the sun to the planet about 5 hours, while for comparison, to the nearest star about 4 years.

Rise of the Solar system

Thanks to the Big Bang Theory, we know that the Solar System was formed about 4.6 billion years ago from a gas-dust cloud that attracted matter to itself, around a thickening nucleus. The gas inside the cloud was shrinking faster than outside, and the Sun formed, and a disk of residual matter formed around it. Nuclear reactions that converted hydrogen to helium caused the sun to shine, and the matter that accumulated around it gradually merged into larger objects until the planets formed. Originally, the solar system had a different shape, and the planets were orbiting other orbits. Solar wind and radiation cleared the interplanetary space. Some of the planets collided with each other, others fell out in the solar system.

The Sun currently has 8 planets around it:

Inner/rocky planets Outer/gaseous planets
  1. Mercury
  2. Venus
  3. Earth
  4. Mars
  1. Jupiter
  2. Saturn
  3. Uranium
  4. Neptune

 

The four planets closest to the Sun are called inner planets, rocky planets. Next four are called outer, they are gas planets. They are definitely larger and formed of rock-ice blocks orbiting the Sun. The planets revolve around their axis and around the Sun.

Until 2006, Pluto was also considered a planet of the solar system. At that time, the planet was redefined as a celestial body that cleared the space around it. Currently, Pluto has the status of a dwarf planet, which is part of the Kuiper Belt. It is a transneptunian objects.

układ słoneczny planety solar system planets

 

Mercury – Small and fast planet

It is the smallest planet in the entire solar system. It has no satellites and is almost completely devoid of an atmosphere that is blown away by solar wind. Mercury is located closest to the Sun, around which it revolves at a very high speed. It revolves much slower around its axis, causing the sunrise to occur every 176 days. This is the planet with the highest temperature amplitude (max. 427 ° C, min. – 212 ° C). Mercury is difficult to observe due to the proximity of the sun.

Venus – an inhospitable virgin

It is the hottest planet in the solar system. The surface temperature reaches up to 480 degrees C. A thick layer of atmosphere does not let accumulating greenhouse gases pass, it is surrounded by toxic gases. The size is close to Earth, but it does not have natural satellites. It revolves around its axis the slowest of all planets. One turn lasts over a year.

Earth – life (until we destroy it)

This is the only known planet in the solar system that has life. The Earth’s hydrosphere is unique compared to other planets, and the atmosphere is the only one in the solar system that contains oxygen. The Earth has one natural satellite – the Moon, 380,000 distant km. Its attraction causes the ebb and flow of seas and oceans on Earth. Thanks to the tilt of the Earth’s axis in relation to the Sun, we have seasons. Earth’s rotation around its axis shapes the phenomenon of day and night. Thanks to the gas activity of the Sun, life on Earth is possible.

Mars – the Red Planet with rovers

Also known as the Red Planet, because of the red deserts covering it. Conditions on Mars are extremely difficult. It’s a rocky planet, covered in deserts, mountains and craters, on which dust storms rage. The temperature here drops to even below 126 degrees Celsius below zero, and the atmosphere consists almost entirely of carbon dioxide. Mars has two small moons: Phobos and Deimos.

Jupiter – a gas giant

This is the first of four outer planets called gas giants. It is the largest of all the planets of the solar system. It is mainly made of helium and hydrogen. A large amount of heat coming from the inside of the planet and a rapid vortex movement create interesting atmospheric phenomena on it, e.g. the Great Red Spot (a cyclone twice the diameter of the Earth). Due to high rotations, the planet bulges at the equator and flattens at the poles. Jupiter has 67 known natural moons. The four largest are the so-called Galilean moons.

Saturn – and the rings of this planet

This is the sixth planet of the solar system and the second largest, after Jupiter. Is one of four gas giants, built mainly of helium, hydrogen and ammonia. It is a very cold planet, and due to its location, only 1/10 of the sun’s rays reach the Earth. Saturn is surrounded by hundreds of spectacular rings discovered by Galileo. They stretch over thousands of kilometres and are made of blocks of ice with a diameter of up to several dozen meters. Saturn has 62 moons, of which the largest Titan, is the only moon in the solar system with an Earth-like atmosphere.

Uranus – a lazy planet

This is the lightest gas planet. Located 2870 million km from the Sun, the planet is very difficult to see from Earth, even through a telescope. Uranus has a greenish colour, which it owes to the methane clouds in the upper atmosphere. It has 27 moons. Its unique feature is that it is almost completely tilted in relation to its orbit, rotates “lying on its side“. Therefore, it is difficult to see its rings from Earth. As the only gas planet, there is no rock nucleus.

Neptune – the last from the Sun

It is the most distant planet in the solar system, and it orbits the sun around 165 years. Neptune’s ice-rock core is surrounded by ammonia and methane, which gives the planet a bluish colour. Winds are blowing there at a speed of 2.5 thousand km / h. Has 14 known moons. Triton, the largest of them is geologically active. Geysers were discovered there that ejected liquid nitrogen. It is also the only known large satellite that moves around the planet in a reverse, not vortex, movement.

Solar System – distances between planets

No graphics can represent real distances between planets. If we would like to show the distance on an appropriate scale, then with planets the size of grains of sand, the distances should be several dozen meters.

Two creators: Wylie Overstreet, screenwriter and director of scientific films, and director Alex Gorosh, with the help of friends, created a model of the solar system in the real scale in the desert. It was assumed that the sun is a sphere with a diameter of 1.5 m. To represent the orbits of all the planets, the system was presented in an area stretched for 6 km. The film allows us to realize, how huge distances divide planets suspended in space.

Below is a curiosity from NASA, i.e. how much time does the light need to cover various distances.

The solar system is constantly evolving. Transformations are not always easy to predict, especially for smaller bodies of the solar system. Astronomers assume that the arrangement of the planets should not change rapidly, and the Solar System will exist in a similar shape until the Sun transforms into a giant in about 5-6 billion years. Then the inner planets of the solar system will be destroyed.

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